UEFA set to test new ‘ABBA’ format for penalty shootouts | football | Hindustan Times
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UEFA set to test new ‘ABBA’ format for penalty shootouts

The ‘ABBA’ format, proposed by UEFA for penalty shootouts, has been sanctioned and cleared by football’s lawmaking body, the International Football Association Board (IFAB)

football Updated: May 04, 2017 16:03 IST
Sidak Anand
UEFA
The new penalty shootout system proposed by UEFA will be tested at the men’s and women’s under-17 European championships.(Getty Images)

European football’s governing body, UEFA, plans to test a new penalty shootout system at the men’s and women’s under-17 European championships, which began in Croatia on Wednesday.

The proposed system is being referred to as the ‘ABBA’ system, and is designed to minimise the psychological disadvantage faced by the team that takes the second penalty.

“The hypothesis is that the player taking the second kick in the pair is under greater mental pressure,” UEFA said in a statement. “If the opposition’s first penalty in the pair is successful, a miss by the second penalty-taker in the pair could mean the immediate loss of a match for his team, especially from the fourth pair of penalties onwards.”

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The proposed format has been sanctioned and cleared by football’s lawmaking body, the International Football Association Board (IFAB), who claimed that research proves the team taking the first penalty has a 60 percent chance of winning, giving them an unfair advantage.

The way it works is that, essentially, team A takes the first kick and then team B takes two consecutive shots, followed by team A taking the next two kicks and so on. This sequence then repeats itself for the final penalty and subsequent kicks that are required if the shootout goes into sudden death.

Captains can still decide whether to take the first kick or the second following a conventional toss.

Officials hope this method is successful and there is reduced pressure on teams in the future.